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Water Metro ferries to begin trial runs in High Court-Vypeen corridor in a fortnight

14 of the 36 terminals envisaged for the Water Metro project are likely to be readied by December

September 30, 2022 07:59 pm | Updated 07:59 pm IST - KOCHI

₹747-crore Water Metro project will see a total of 78 battery-powered electric ferries operating through waterbodies in the Greater Kochi area.

₹747-crore Water Metro project will see a total of 78 battery-powered electric ferries operating through waterbodies in the Greater Kochi area. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The first batch of Water Metro ferries will commence trial run in the High Court-Vypeen corridor in a fortnight.

It will be as a precursor to the expected launch of the first batch of five ferries in the corridor as part of the ₹747-crore Water Metro project that will see a total of 78 battery-powered electric ferries operating through waterbodies in the Greater Kochi area. One of the ferries did trial run on the route on Friday.

The Cochin Shipyard is expected to hand over the last of the five ferries of the total 23 such vessels, for which Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) had placed orders, within a week. Its sea trial is already over. Work on jetties near the High Court and at Vypeen is over, official sources said.

Floating pontoons to enable safe entry and exit from the ferries, irrespective of low or high tide, were installed at the High Court jetty earlier this month. Such pontoons at Vypeen will be installed in a few days. A total of 14 of the 36 terminals envisaged for the project will be readied by December, it is learnt.

Apart from the High Court and Vypeen jetties, the ones at Vyttila and Kakkanad too are over, while those that are expected to be completed by the end of the year include jetties in locales such as Eloor, Bolgatty, Chittoor, and Cheranalloor. Work on the proposed jetty at Mattancherry will be retendered, following which it is expected to be ready in 15 months. Almost all the jetties on islands that the ferries will link have immense tourism potential, with local bodies demanding that KMRL be proactive in promoting arrival of tourists in ferries.

With work on the approach road to the Kakkanad jetty almost over, the second batch of ferries might operate on the Vyttila-Kakkanad route.

Work on many of the jetties and the Water Metro’s operational control centre (OCC) at Vyttila has been lagging reportedly due to the slow pace of construction by the firm which was awarded the work. Faced with such a situation, KMRL has readied a temporary OCC at the Kochi Metro’s Vyttila station.

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